ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 56

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Israeli Arab teenager indicted for joining Islamic State, planning terror attack

Hamzeh Abu Zeilah alleged to have begun watching content of terrorist group online, and contacted its members via TikTok

A fighter from the Christian Syriac militia that battles the Islamic State group under the banner of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, burns an IS flag on the front line on the western side of Raqqa, northeast Syria, July 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)
A fighter from the Christian Syriac militia that battles the Islamic State group under the banner of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, burns an IS flag on the front line on the western side of Raqqa, northeast Syria, July 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)

A 19-year-old Arab Israeli was indicted for joining the Islamic State organization, officials said Friday.

According to the State Prosecutor’s Office, Hamzeh Abu Zeila, from Rahat, was arrested last month. Following a joint investigation by the police and the Shin Bet, he was indicted for conspiracy to commit a crime, being a member of and recruiting for a terrorist organization, and contacting a foreign agent.

The Bedouin teenager is also accused of trying to recruit others into IS.

Abu Zeila reportedly began watching online content related to IS last year and then swore allegiance to the organization. He then reached out through TikTok to members of the organization abroad who encouraged him to carry out a terror attack against Jews in Israel.

The Bedouin teenager then began praising IS to people around him, and his cousin encouraged him to attack Jews.

IS has recruited members in Israel over the past year. In December, a terrorist responsible for a bombing in Jerusalem was found to be connected to IS; in November, an Israeli Arab teenager was indicted for joining IS and attempting to make a bomb on the organization’s behalf; in October, six men were arrested on for alleged IS ties and for planning to attack a Muslim school in Nazareth.

Last August, three Arab Israelis were arrested for attempting to join the group in Nigeria.

Following a series of terrorist attacks in the beginning of 2022, 43 people in northern Israel were arrested on suspicion of being connected to IS.

Last year, IS called for Arabs in Israel to carry out attacks throughout the country.

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